This spectacular image is the deepest view of the Universe ever captured. The farthest galaxy in this image? 13 BILLION LIGHT YEARS AWAY. Amazing. Thanks Hubble!
The infrared vision of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed that the Sombrero galaxy — named after its appearance in visible light to a wide-brimmed hat — is in fact two galaxies in one. It is a large elliptical galaxy (blue-green) with a thin disk galaxy (partly seen in red) embedded within. Previous visible-light images led astronomers to believe the Sombrero was simply a regular flat disk galaxy.
A computer simulation of what happens when two spiral galaxies collide. At various points, the simulation stops to show a comparison to pictures of actual galaxy pairs in the midst of this process, as seen from the Hubble telescope. In a few billion years, the Milky Way might undergo this process, merging with our largest neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy.